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According to the General Social Surveys (GSS), 18 percent of adults who were raised in an intact family have ever been divorced or separated, compared to 28 percent of those who lived in a non-intact family. Finally, parental divorce when their offspring are in their twenties may even inoculate them against divorce.See Paul Amato, “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce,” This chart draws on data collected by the General Social Surveys, 1972-2006.
In 2006, a third sample was added for a total sample size of 4,510. Fagan and Althea Nagai, “Mapping America 62: Divorce or Separation: Family Structure in Adolescence,” Mapping America Project. This entry draws heavily from Effects of Divorce on Children.In particular, “boys who feel close to their fathers, regardless of biological status, have better attitudes about intimacy and the prospect of their own married lives than boys who do not feel close to their fathers.” Daughters of divorced parents anticipated cohabiting before marriage, regardless of the amount of affection between them and their fathers. According to Amato and Booth’s research, the risk is highest when the divorce takes place before the child reaches age 13.Among daughters of intact marriages, it was mainly those with poor relationships with their fathers who anticipated they would cohabit. The risk that the child will divorce decreases significantly when their parents’ divorce takes place during the teen years.By contrast, the problem of being overly meek or overly dominant is much more prevalent in the romantic relationships and marriages of the daughters of divorced families than it is among daughters of intact marriages.One study found that adults who experience parental divorce have chances of divorce 38 percent higher than adults raised in intact families.